By Pat Graham, Associated Press
Carlos Gonzalez drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the ninth, and the Colorado Rockies halted a four-game skid by beating the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Monday.
Charlie Blackmon began the ninth with a double off Steven Okert (1-1) that got caught up in the wind and Mac Williamson couldn’t corral with a diving attempt. Gonzalez later took four straight pitches to bring in the winning run and raised his hands as he walked to first base during a game played in hazy conditions because of smoke from western wildfires.
Greg Holland (3-5) pitched a perfect ninth, including somehow fielding a comebacker from Pablo Sandoval that knocked the closer down before he was able to throw the ball to first.
Blackmon hit his 33rd homer of the season and DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 12 games as the Rockies increased their lead to 1 1/2 games over Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.
Colorado improved to 8-0 at home against the Giants this season.
The Rockies went 2-for-30 with runners in scoring position in being swept by Arizona over the weekend and didn’t fare much better Monday, going 2-for-9 in those situations.
With one out in the ninth, Nolan Arenado was intentionally walked and Gerardo Parra drew another walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Pat Valaika was struck out by Cory Gearrin, setting the stage for Gonzalez, who’s trying to work his way out of a season-long funk. Gearrin’s 3-0 pitch to Gonzalez was well outside.
Joe Panik and Denard Span each hit solo homers into the second deck in right field. Panik also tied the game at 3 with an RBI single in the sixth.
Jake McGee pitched his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth by getting Buster Posey to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Chad Bettis threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs in his fifth start since returning from testicular cancer. He came up big at the plate with a two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth. It was his first RBI of the season.
First baseman/outfielder Ian Desmond played shortstop for the first time since Oct. 4, 2015. He didn’t appear the least bit rusty, even fielding three straight grounders in the fourth.
Desmond was moved to first base when Trevor Story entered the game in the sixth.